2 Feb 2018

All Whites to play Canada, but you won't be able to watch

10:15 am on 2 February 2018

The All Whites will play a behind-closed-doors international friendly against Canada in Spain in March, despite not having a coach less than two months out from the fixture.

New Zealand's WInston Reid and Peru's Jefferson Farfan.

New Zealand's WInston Reid and Peru's Jefferson Farfan. Photo: Photosport

The World No 120 New Zealanders will play World No 95 Canada at the Pinatar Arena on March 24 with the kick-off time still to be confirmed.

By mutual agreement the match will be a closed door affair.

Both teams are at the beginning of a new cycle and will have new coaches and this will be the first time that the coaches and players will meet and work together.

The All Whites, who will arrive in Spain on March 19, will have a training camp in Murcia with the main objective to get the team accustomed to the new Head Coach, who'll be named in March.

The All Whites will come up against a familiar face in the newly-appointed Canadian Men's Team Head Coach John Herdman.

He was the Football Ferns Head Coach from 2006 - 2011 taking the team to two FIFA World Cups and the Beijing Olympics.

New Zealand Football Technical Director Andreas Heraf, who is in the process of recruiting the new All Whites Head Coach, says the fixture is ideal as the team builds towards qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

"This training camp and international friendly are perfect for the All Whites as we start again and begin the next World Cup cycle," said Heraf.

"Canada are a good level of opposition for us and the match will be played at a venue with outstanding facilities. It is anticipated our new Head Coach will have plenty of time on the training pitch with their new squad."

Canada, who like New Zealand did not qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, had four wins, three draws and two losses from their nine international games in 2017.

New Zealand and Canada have played six times throughout their history with Canada winning four times and New Zealand winning twice. It will be the first time these two teams have played each other since a two-match series in 1980 in Canada which the hosts won.

-RNZ